Cyber criminals discovered in recent years that using search engines to spread their malware is easy and highly effective. Even as search engines list warnings on their links to sites known to host malware, users still infect themselves regularly by clicking through a link they believe to contain content they want to access.

According to Sophos, a web security company, cyber criminals use black hat SEO techniques to link to websites controlled by their botnets. One of the most common techniques is using trending news topics to tag their websites. Anytime a user searches for one of these topics, malware will appear in the results.

Cyber criminals often copy the content of a legitimate news story and place it somewhere on their page to direct traffic to the rogue website. The report cites the killing of a SeaWorld trainer by a killer whale in late February as an instance of exploitation. Using stories produced by various news agencies, cyber criminals successfully compromised desktop security by using black hat SEO to draw traffic to their site.

In 2010, cyber criminals have exploited the Winter Olympics and a false rumor of comedian Bill Cosby's death to lure users to websites spiked with malware strains. Desktop security providers advise that mid-term elections and the FIFA World Cup will be among the most popular topics exploited later this year.ADNFCR-2553-ID-19700601-ADNFCR